Lung Cancer: Unveiling the Silent Killer

Lung Cancer: Unveiling the Silent Killer

As the name signifies, Lung cancer is a type of cancer that commences in the lungs. Our lungs are spongy organs in our chest that take in oxygen when we inhale and release carbon dioxide when we exhale. It is among the leading grounds of cancer deaths worldwide. 

People who smoke regularly are at high risk of getting lung cancer. But, it can also happen to someone who didn’t smoke once in a lifetime. The risk grows with the length of time and number of cigarettes smoked. Don’t worry, there is also a piece of good news for regular smokers, if you quit smoking even after smoking for many years, you can prevent yourself too much extent and reduce the chances of developing lung cancer. 

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer generally doesn’t cause signs and symptoms in its premature stages. You can feel the signs and symptoms when the disease reaches an advanced level. Some of the signs and symptoms which an individual may get include the following: 

  • Bone pain
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Losing weight without trying
  • A new cough that doesn’t go away
  • Coughing up blood 

Causes of Lung Cancer

Smoking causes the majority of lung cancers – both in smokers and in people disclosed to secondhand smoke. But as told earlier, it also occurs in people who never smoked and in those who never had extended exposure to secondhand smoke. In such type of cases, there may be no clear cause of cancer. 

Doctors believe smoking causes lung cancer by injuring the cells that line the lungs. When we inhale cigarettes smoke, changes start happening immediately in the lung tissues from the cancer-causing substance called carcinogens. At first, our body may be able to mend the damage, but with repetitive smoking, cells get damaged even more quickly. Over time, the damage leads to improper functioning, and eventually, cancer may develop. 

Types of Lung Cancer

Doctors divide lung cancer into two major types based on the formation of lung cancer cells under the microscope. The doctor makes the lung cancer treatment decision based on the observation of lung cancer cells that you have. The two general types of lung cancer are as follows:-

  • Small cell lung cancer: This type of cancer is mostly found in individuals who smoke heavily. It is less familiar as compared to nonsmall cell lung cancer. 
  • Non-small cell lung cancer: It is an umbrella representation for several types of lung cancers. This type of lung cancer includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. 

Risk Factors of Lung Cancer

Several elements may increase your risk of lung cancer. Some factors may be controlled if an individual quits smoking as soon as possible. There are some factors, such as family history, which can’t be controlled. So, here are the following risk factors that one should consider: 

  • Family history of lung cancer: People with a parent, sibling, or offspring with lung cancer have an increased risk of the disease. 
  • Exposure to asbestos and carcinogens: Workplace exposure to asbestos and other substances known for causing cancer such as arsenic, nickel, and chromium can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. The risk increases even more for individuals who smoke. 
  • Exposure to Radon gases: Radon gases are cultivated from the biological breakdown of uranium in rock, soil, and water and that ultimately becomes a part of the air we breathe. A higher level of radon if accumulated in any building, can cause lung cancer to many individuals at once. 
  • Previous radiation therapy: If you have undergone radiation therapy to the chest for any other type of cancer, then you are at an increased risk of being trapped by this type of cancer. 
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke: Even if haven’t smoked once, but are exposed to secondhand smoke then also you are at a high risk of lung cancer. When you inhale the oxygen in which the harmful gases have been released, then there are chances that you may also be trapped in it. 

Prevention from Lung Cancer

Although there is no certain way to prevent lung cancer properly, you can reduce your chances by following some measures. Some of them are noted below in detail: 

  • Have a well-balanced diet: No matter what’s the age of an individual, one should always try to have a balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables included in it. Make sure you are consuming the diet after proper consultation with the dietician. As of now, the researchers are hoping to reduce the chances by giving the “Beta Carotene Supplement” to heavy smokers. 
  • Exercise: An activity that not only reduces the risk of most diseases but also keeps us active and fresh throughout the day. There are numerous benefits of doing exercise daily. If you don’t exercise at all, then start slowly and you will start feeling the changes within you.
  • Avoiding Carcinogens: Start taking precautions to protect yourself from harmful chemicals (carcinogens). Always do follow the rules and regulations laid by your employers regarding the matter. You can also ask your doctor about the precautions. The risk of lung impairment from workplace carcinogens rises if you smoke. 

So, here was some of the prevention that one should take to prevent themselves from the deadly disease. Hope this article has helped you in knowing more about this. 


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